The police record book listing every individual arrested for a crime in New London beginning in 1854 and continuing through 1880 has just been donated to the historical society. Essentially rescued from the trash as New London Police headquarters was in the process of being moved from its North Bank (formerly Bradley Street) location to its new building on Union Street (now the Stanton Building) in the 1950s, the book is simply an amazingly rich source of information.

There is an abundance of drunkenness, keeping a house of ill fame, visiting a house of ill fame, breach of the peace, and obtaining liquor under false pretenses;  but in many respects it is surprising how quiet New London appears. The first page covers July, August and September of 1854 — there are only ten entries for all of August. But on that first page, two thefts were by boys, one nine years old, both of whom were sent to the State Reform School in Meriden for two years, their “term” and “place of imprisonment.”

There are a host of research projects that this one source can provide the data for. Although it’s doubtful we’ll ever know the difference between intoxication, drunkenness, common drunk, and intemperance (all of which appear ). And we can only imagine why Thomas Slate was arrested for stealing a sailboat in 1855. (His father’s portrait looks down upon us in the reading room.)

Police Headquarters on Bradley Street

Konstanty Bucko joined the New London police force in 1939, retiring as a Detective Lieutenant in 1982. Mr. Bucko died in 2003 and his wife died just this year. His son William, cleaning out his parents’ house, recognized the value of this ledger and donated it to the historical society (for which we are very grateful).